Hey Hey ladies how’s it going? Today I’m very excited to join you here and share with you my guide to lasting habit change for weight loss. It is my five tips to combine visualization and pleasure for weight loss in your health journey to make things start happening for you.
I’m Angela Naumann, founder of angelanaumann.com and I am the curvy woman’s health coach. I help curvy plus size women stop dieting and stop restricting, so they can gain energy, reduce their stress, and discover what in the world is stopping them or slowing them down from having the body that they want and finding lasting Weight Loss. I’m all about transforming the whole person body mind and soul.
Today we’re going to start talking about how do we get these lasting habit changes, and the reason we want lasting habit changes guys is because we are trying to reach our goals. These goals they could be our health and weight loss goals. They can be our business goals, personal goals, family goals or even financial goals. We all have these things in life we just want to accomplish, right? We get ideas of how to get there but we never fully arrive where we want to go. So what do you do?
First, before you can get there you have to actually know what your goals are. If you’ve maybe kind of
lost sight of your goals you can just start with a simple question to yourself. (I’m not going to talk too long on this because I want to move on to lasting habit change but you have to know where you want to do go, so give me sec to cover this briefly.)
If I wave a magic wand and and I can make anything happen to my life what
would I want what would I want to make happen?
Then I would just kind of maybe with a journal or some little reflection ponder:
- what is having that do for you?
- what will it add to your life?
- what’s going to happen if you don’t have it?
Just kind of reflect on those things. Once you know what your goals are, we’ve got to link pleasure to those goals. Because once we link pleasure to those goals it is so much easier to accomplish these things and to make those lasting habit changes.
So that’s what I’m going to share with you today. One of my favorite ways to reach my goals is through pleasure and what does pleasure have to do with it??
Pleasure and Habits
Pleasure is what drives our habit loops. Habits are these actions that we take on a daily basis to determine our quality of life. It’s our habits that we fall back on when we’re not consciously thinking.
So if we connect pleasure to our habits that’s what we’re going to do when we live life on autopilot. We always going to do whatever is more pleasurable. If something is uncomfortable you’re going to revert to whatever’s more comfortable, right?
If it feels best to wake up at 5 a.m. and go for a run then you’re going to do that, or if it feels better to stay in bed and hit snooze then you’re going to do that. So how do we connect pleasure to something that maybe is not in our mind as something we want to do?
I love this so much! Here is why. When we experience pleasure we’re releasing endorphins. We’re doing all these good things chemically inside our body, and it increases our want repeat the pleasure in our life.
Think about it. Why do people keep eating sugar because it releases chemicals in the body that makes it feel good, right? That’s why as health coaches we help you find other things that are going to release it whose feel-good chemicals for you. Right that’s what we’re looking for!
Visualization for Weight Loss
How are we going to do it? We are going to start with something called mental rehearsal or visualization
So what is mental rehearsal? This is one of my favorite techniques because it is something that has helped me tremendously in my own health journey. It’s something that I find has been tremendously helpful with my own clients well.
Mental rehearsal a technique used by champion athletes. Olympians! It basically is like a mental trial run a rehearsal of whatever you’re trying to achieve. I remember hearing a story of Michael Phelps. The story goes something like this:
When he was participating in the Olympics and he got water in his goggles during a race or something like that. It made it where he couldn’t see, yet he still won. Afterward, people were asking about and he still ended up winning the race when he couldn’t even see. HIs comment was he did it the way he had mentally rehearsed it. So he had not only visualized how to win the race, but he had visualized if my goggles messed up how am I going get to the finish line.
So it’s kind of like with us with our healthy eating goals. How am I going to find success when I go to the restaurant? How am I going to have that? How am I going to have success when I go to that New Year’s party and everybody’s eating junk, but I have been working so hard to bring clean food into my life. So how do you get there? Here is where mental rehearsal come in.
But does it work? Does it help?
Yes it helps you practice overcoming habits that are bringing resistance into your day. Maybe old habits that you’ve had for twenty years, right! We have those right? You have habits that you formed at eight years; I do! And at 43 I’m still practicing them. Do you know what I’m saying?
So how do we change those habits because the beautiful thing about our brain is that it is moldable. (I was reading this in a book yesterday by Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain.) You can change it and the connections that are made. So one of the key ways to do that is what we’re going to accomplish that is through visualization or mental rehearsal.
One of the best ways to accomplish weight loss is to change habits. And the best way I have found to change habits is to link pleasure to the desired habit. When we link pleasure to an action it can motivate us in a maybe we haven’t been able to do in the past.
So many people, and I bet some of you guys are the same way, we are not aware of how much we already do visualization in our lives. What I find is we do it, but what we do guys is do it negatively.
Who wants to do that? Add negativity to our lives. We worry about the future, right. We picture how it’s going to go wrong, and we start picturing all the negative things. Like I’m going to eat this piece of cake and it’s going to go straight to my hips. Then, I’m going to get on the scale tomorrow morning and I might have gained five pounds. Guess what? You get on the scale, and you’ve gained five pounds, right.
So how do you make the change? Instead of bringing in that negative, bring in the positive instead. So let’s do it through visualization.
This is really great! Let’s Get Started.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is you have to relax and breathe. Not worrying about the technical jargon about brain waves and such, simply just relax. Here’s the thing you just got to
relax. You just got to relax and release that stress from that day. Best thing you can do is take yourself some deep breaths. I suggest ten deep breaths. I like to use the five, five, seven breaths. We inhale for five, hold it for five, and release for seven take. Yep, simple as that take yourself some deep breaths let your mind just kind of start to settle.
Okay so once your brain, your mind, and your body kind of calm, you have hit at the perfect optimal state to practice meditation, practice prayer, or practice visualization. So once you are there what do you do?
Visualization is so great because it’s so simple. There’s three key ways you can do it and I’m going to share those with you.
#1 You just have to picture and describe it.
Let me use mine for an example. So as as a curvy woman I have a lot I have my own eating issues such as binge eating. I have things that I have had to deal with, so one of the biggest things I have had to learn is how to eat. Number one, how do I slow down my eating and chew my food. Bahahahah, I know it’s just amazing the simple things that can change your health. For me it was slowing down, chewing my food, and listen to my body’s hunger and my body’s fullness signals. That’s a whole other topic for another day. I could probably spend a week or a month studying hunger and fullness.
But today how did I get there? I was not in that place. Even after I would wake up and consciously plan that morning and I think today I’m going to take my time on my eating today. Have long 20-minute meals, bla bla bla. Yet, it would still go out the window. Even with good intentions, I would find myself just standing in the kitchen, standing and eating, as opposed to even walking to the table to sit for a meal. So how did I break the habit?
I started with taking those deep breaths, calming myself, getting my mind right. Then I would picture myself eating my meals at the table that day. I started simple like that. Simply not standing over the sink eating, but sitting down. Raise your hand if you found yourself standing in the kitchen eating as opposed to walking to the table or to the bar and sitting down.
We all have done that especially ladies that are busy. I started there, then I moved my visualization even further. I mentally rehearsed, myself slowly chewing those bites. I really pictured it. I described it. I would think about what the the food would feel like and taste like with the textures and all that kind of stuff. I imagined how I could slow down and enjoy it I pictured myself smelling my meals. I pictured myself noticing feel of the fork, the feel of setting the fork down between bites. We don’t think about things like that. These are subconscious things that we do or don’t do, right. So I knew what I wanted was to slow down on my eating, so I would take in less food.
But at first I couldn’t even get there I had to go back to just sit I had to first start with visualizing sitting down. Next I had to visualizing chewing my food. After that, I had to add and I just slowly started adding each day different parts of the visualization.
So one day, I’m in the kitchen and I’m standing at the counter I have made my plate and I’m standing there. I start to eat and immediately BAM the picture, the picture in my mind that I had spent time visualizing the night before of me taking my plate and sitting down at the table and slowly enjoying my food, threw itself into my mind. I mean it was like a photograph or a strong memory. It startled me. I immediately thought to myself, “I need to go sit down and eat.” I went to the table. Which makes a difference for me. Maybe you can relate. In my experience when I go to the table is a whole different world than when I stand and eat or if I carry it to the living room and eat in front of the TV. It’s a different experience.
#2 Emotional Connection
The next part of that that you want to do is make an emotional connection the reason we want to do that is because t we are sensory based beings, right! When one of our five senses is connected to something it increases the memory of it increases the connections in the brain. Think of a time you ate something. Afterward you go violently sick. Maybe you getting sick had nothing to do with the food you ate. It just happened that you caught that virus, but the result of that experience is you never again crave that food.
Who’s that happened to? You ate something, you got sick, and it was years before you could put that back in your mouth without getting nauseous from it. Habit change after something negative like is is easy.
That happens because we had that connection, that association, with it. So similarly we can add our emotions into the desired description that mental image, that mental rehearsal, that visualization where we create desired habits. Habits to help us get the health, weight loss, etc.
I like to start with my current visualization then ask myself how am I going to feel when this happens? What’s my emotions when this happens? And start to try to bring those emotions out. Once you feel it, you’re moving across that threshold, and it’s going to connect you pleasurably to your desired action.
The next part is what if you’re like many other curvy woman, myself included, and you think to yourself, “I want to do this however I have been so out of shape my whole life; I’ve been so unhealthy with my eating choices that I can’t even picture myself skinny.” So what do you do? What do you do when you can’t visualize it. Here’s the thing, ladies your body is not going to go where your mind can’t go! Have you heard that before?
It is so true! Your body will not go where your mind can’t go. It doesn’t! So what happens if you can’t get your mind there. If you can’t picture it. If you can’t picture yourself going for a run or giving up sugar? What happens if you can’t picture yourself living without six cups of coffee a day?
Sometimes what you’re going to have to do is create an exposure to some things in order to create more detailed realistic visualization for your mind, for that mental rehearsal. Sometimes you may have to expose yourself to more details from the outside world.
Let me give this example, let’s say you want to learn to scuba dive, okay. You want a picture yourself being successful on a dive, but the problem is you’ve never been scuba diving. You don’t know anyone who’s been scuba diving, and you’ve never watched it on TV, or anything. You just decided, “Hey that sounds fun. I’m going to do it.”
Well you’re going to have to bring a little bit of exposure to your mind for it to start making some connections to create the picture. You’re going to have to start maybe watching some videos on scuba diving, reading some books, visit a scuba diving school. That kind of thing to help bring in those experiences so you can find lasting weight loss through habit change.
If you’re already connected to something like the health coaching community, then you are already doing things to bring those exposures in. You’re talking to other people other women about what does it mean to not to take some sugar out of your nutrition plan, what does it mean to be an intuitive eater, how to reduce bloating et. You have already started that experience when you’re a part of like the coaching community. Here is my free community if you need one to support you and help you grow.
Think of it like this. you’ve seen people you put on the workout DVD or the online workout program, but they don’t do it. They watch it first before they participate. They need to visualize it. They need to bring it into their mind to be able picture themselves being able to do it and find that success.
It’s the same thing so if you’re having trouble picturing yourself reach your goals. What you need is to find yourself some exposure to it. That’s where a mentor comes into play. That’s where your health coach can help you. Coaches are trained to help hold that picture of your best self, so when need help you have someone to guide you.
To wrap it up here is an action tip to help you find some success with this.
- You have to have you have to know what you want.
- You have to know your goal and your motivating factor behind that.
- Start relaxing and breathing.
- Begin creating that mental picture with as many details as possible.
- Then make that emotional connection to it because the more emotion you can tie to it the more it’s going to come back to you when it’s time. The more it’s going to be solidified into your mind and into your being.
- Then if you’re having trouble doing those things find yourself some exposure: watch some videos, talk to some people that are where you want to do, read, grow, and learn.
I want to challenge you with this parting thought: Find something pleasurable that moves you towards your goals and then visualize yourself doing it. Describe it to yourself, feel it, create it, expose yourself to it, study it, make it you. Bring it inside your mind and then you can start living it.
WORKING WITH A HEALTH COACH especially one that understands being a curvy plus size woman, can help you identify what your personal health and wellness issues are, how they affect you, and develop strategies
to overcome them. Habit Change is just one piece of the puzzle. Click to read what others have discovered working with me.
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